Borderline is a 1930 film, written and directed by Kenneth Macpherson and produced by the Pool Group in Territet, Switzerland. The silent film, with English inter-titles, is primarily noted for its handling of the contentious issue of inter-racial relationships, using avant-garde experimental film-making techniques, and is today very much part of the curriculum of the study of modern cinematography.
The film revolves around an inter-racial love triangle and its effects on the local townsfolk. The story is based in a guesthouse occupied by a set of liberal, hedonistic young people sympathetic to the emerging black American culture. In what would have been completely frowned upon at the time, the manageress has let out a room to a black couple, Pete Marond and his wife, Adah. Adah has an affair with Thorne, a white man, much to the dismay of the prejudiced townsfolk and Thorne’s wife, Astrid. Pete attempts a reconciliation with Adah, but she eventually decides to leave him and the town. Astrid confronts Thorne on the affair and attacks him with a knife. In the scuffle, Astrid is killed. The film concludes with the aftermath of Thorne’s trial for murder and the townsfolk’s resolution of the issue.
Director: Kenneth MacPherson
Writer: Kenneth MacPherson
Stars: Paul Robeson, Eslanda Robeson, Hilda Doolittle